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Volunteer Article Competition 2023 - Abubakar's Story

My name is Abubakar Hashim, and I enjoy volunteering at the Pyaari Yaddein group. What I enjoy about volunteering is supporting and talking to the members because I get to know them and how they have been. The conversations I have with them are very interesting, and it has helped me develop my communication skills. Also, helping them with activities is fun, as I can advise them and lead them through various instructions. This allows me to improve their coordination and the ability to listen to others. I also build relationships with the members so that they know me well and feel free to greet and talk to me. I love how there is always something that volunteers need to do, and they are not left alone without a task. We all collaborate to make the space safe for members. However, we are not just colleagues, but also, we are good friends. I love how friendly we are with each other, as it is not only a safe space for the members, but also a positive atmosphere for me.

One fond memory I have is when I led a group for all the members. I was worried due to the language barrier between me and the members, and I was afraid the members would not like the activity. However, I had the help of senior volunteers who can speak Urdu, and the members enjoyed the samosa making activity and the quiz. I felt I had achieved something great and was very proud. Leading the activity felt very rewarding, as I had never done something like that before. Volunteering here has given me the chance to come out of my shell and shyness and become more confident and a brave speaker. Overall, I enjoyed the experience and won the competition for the best activity. Another fond memory were the Eid parties we had, where we had a big party with loads of nice food. We had many people come over this day, and it was very special because they enjoyed it, and their smiles made me happy. It was a very auspicious occasion, and what I like about the group is that they are very inclusive to different cultures and religions. Right now, we have a new Somali member, and we do our very best to not leave him out.

An activity I have enjoyed doing at the group was going to Alexandra Park during summer, where we walked and talked about other parks. We cycled the members around the park, and it was very fun. The members and volunteers had a lot of fun. We ate outside in the nice, bright sunshine. Another activity I have enjoyed was at Hulme Garden centre, where we dealt with wood and created certain objects. It helped the volunteers with their mobility and focus and gave them a new perspective into what others do. I really like doing activities like this because it shows that the members with dementia are not being restricted in what they can do, especially in the South Asian community.

I love volunteering, and I will do my utmost best to help the members and support them.

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